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Pelican Technical Article:
Engine And Transmission Mount Replacement

Jared Fenton
 

 
Time: 3 hours
Tab: $250
Talent:  
Tools:
Screwdrivers, Socket Set, Wrench Set, Floor Jack
Applicable Models:
R50 MINI Cooper (2002-06)
R53 MINI Cooper S (2002-06)
R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2005-08)
R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08)
Parts Required:
Engine and Transmission Mounts
Hot Tip:
Extend the front end to the service position for more room
Performance Gain:
Better gear shifting, reduced engine vibration and noise
Complementary Modification:
Install polyurethane engine mounts
 
   

  This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Pelican Parts' new book, How to Maintain and Modify your new MINI. The book contains 240 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to changing your brake pads. With more than 500+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any MINI owner's collection. The book is due to be released in late 2012. See The Official Book Website for more details.
 

Check out some other sample projects from the book: 

Need to buy parts for this project? Click here to order!
   
     One of the most common parts to deteriorate on the MINI are the engine mounts. The rubber that is contained within the mounts becomes old and brittle, and doesn’t perform a good job of isolating the drivetrain from the rest of the chassis. This eventually can cause a whole host of problems and cause wear to other critical components. In the later MINIs (2004 on), they use a liquid filled engine mount on the passenger side that can leak and eventually collapse.

     Begin the replacement by jacking up the front of the car and placing it on jackstands. This procedure will cover the replacement of the lower mount under the engine. Remove the front wheel liners and splash shield under the front of the car. Now find the lower engine mount. It’s located on the passenger side and secures the engine to the front subframe (See Figure 2).

     Remove the two 16mm bolts securing the lower engine mount to the subframe and also to the engine (See Figure 3). To remove the mount from the engine compartment, you’ll need to unbolt the mounting bracket from the engine. Just remove the four 13mm bolts holding it in place and set it aside (See Figure 4 and Figure 5 ).

     With the mounting bracket removed from the engine, slide the new mount up into place and thread the 16mm bolt up the center of the mount and into the threaded section of the subframe. Refit the mounting bracket over the end of the new lower engine mount and torque the four 13mm bolts back into place. Now thread the 16mm bolt back into the front end of the mount (See Figure 6, 7 and 8).

     Now, let’s move on to the upper passenger side engine mount. Make sure the battery is disconnected and then remove the ground strap from the engine mount bracket on the passenger side of the car (See Figure 9). Be sure not to lose the bolt which fits up underneath the bracket as it can fall out once you remove the ground nut. Now remove the fuel tank vent valve directly above the belt tensioner and supercharger pulley. In this picture in Figure 10, you can see the upper vent valve connection (purple arrow) the electrical harness connector (green arrow) and the lower vent valve connection (yellow arrow) 

     Remove the lower vent valve connection by squeezing the two tabs on the out side of the connector and pulling it off. Take care not to use too much force on the plastic line. Next, remove the upper vent valve connection by pressing the tabs on the connector and pulling it up. Again, take care not to damage the plastic line. Use a small screwdriver to pull back on the plastic tab securing the electrical harness plug to the valve and pull it down and off the valve. Use a small screwdriver to pull back on the plastic tab securing the electrical harness plug to the valve and pull it down and off the valve. Press the small tab on the mounting bracket and slide the vent valve off. Set it aside for the time being (See Figure 11 through 14).

     Place the floor jack under the center of the engine with a block of wood to distribute the weight of the engine and also to protect the oil pan. This will support the weight of the engine with the mount removed (See Figure 15). Move back up to the mount and remove the small 8mm bolt securing the bracket holding the two hoses to the engine mount brace. Pop the hoses out of the bracket and set the bracket aside (See Figure 16).

     Next, remove the 16mm bolts securing the engine mount brace at the both the front and rear. Keep in mind that the engine may move back a little. Make sure that the jack with the block of wood is fully supporting the weight of the engine. Now remove the brace and set it aside (See Figure 17). Now remove the 16mm nut holding the engine mount bracket to the engine mount (green arrow) once removed, carefully jack the engine up and remove the engine mount (See Figure 18).

     Now a side note. On 2004 and later MINIs, the passenger side engine mount was redesigned. If you own one of these cars, you simply remove the 16mm nut on the top of the bracket (green arrow), and the bolt securing the mount to the frame (purple arrow). Also, don't forget to remove the ground strap (yellow arrow) as shown in Figure 19. The rest of the procedure is virtually the same.

     Remove the E12 Torx bolt underneath the passenger side engine mount. This long bolt secures the mount to the frame rail. Once removed, take the engine mount off the frame rail. Place the new engine mount in the same hole from above the frame rail and thread the Torx bolt back in and torque it to 68Nm (50ft/lbs.) (See Figure 20).

     On cars up to 12/03, remove the three bolts holding the upper engine mount to the wheelhouse. You can reach the rear-most bolt with a long extension. Take the new rear mount, thread the bolts in and torque them to 68Nm (50ft/lbs.) (See Figure 21).

     To replace the transmission mount, you'll need to first remove the airbox assembly. Refer to our article on installing a performance intake for more info (See Figure 22). Make sure the battery is disconnected, then remove the harness that plugs into the front of the fuse box as shown here. Use a screwdriver to press the tab in, then pull the harness out (See Figure 23).

     Now remove the two 8mm screws holding the fusebox to the chassis. Also remove the 10mm bolt holding the 12v lead wire for the aux driving lights if you have installed them on your car. (See Figure 24). Move the fusebox to the side to access the bolts underneath.

     With the floor jack under the engine and secure, remove the long 16mm bolt securing the mount to the bracket arm (See Figure 25). Now remove the three 16mm bolts holding the upper mount arm to the chassis (See Figure 26 and Figure 27 ). You need to remove this arm in order to access the mount underneath. Remove the four bolts holding the mount to the transmission.

     Now place the new mount on the transmission and thread in the bolts holding in place. Keep in mind that the front left bolt secures a bracket to the front of the mount There is also a bracket for the clutch slave cylinder feed hose that is secured by one of the transmission mount bolts (See Figure 28 and Figure 29 ).

     Once all the bolts have been fitted, torque them to spec (See Figure 30). Take note of the orientation of the rubber spacers that fit onto the sides of the new transmission mount. Transfer the spacers onto the new mount as shown (See Figure 31).  Now refit the upper mount arm over the rubber spacers and transmission mount. Refit the 16mm bolt loosely though the center of the mount and place the mount arm back into position on the chassis. Torque and refit all bolts (See Figure 32). Now lower the jack under the car. Now, just reinstall the fusebox, airbox and you're all set.

     R50 Cooper: The procedure for replacing the engine and transmission mounts on the R50 Cooper is virtually the same as the R53 Cooper S. The main differences here is that the both the airbox and battery box must be removed to allow access to the transmission mount. Once these items are removed, you must also remove the slave cylinder to access the mounting bolts. (Please see our articles on clutch master and slave cylinder replacement for more info).
Shown here are a set of engine and transmission mounts for the early MINI Cooper S.
Figure 1
Shown here are a set of engine and transmission mounts for the early MINI Cooper S. If any of your mounts have failed, Pelican can supply you with a new one.
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The green arrow and the purple arrow are the two bolts that secure the lower engine mount to both the engine and the front subframe.
Figure 2
The green arrow and the purple arrow are the two bolts that secure the lower engine mount to both the engine and the front subframe.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
 Remove the 16mm bolt securing the lower engine mount to the subframe and also the 16mm bolt holding the mount to the engine.
Figure 3
Remove the 16mm bolt securing the lower engine mount to the subframe and also the 16mm bolt holding the mount to the engine.
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Now remove the four 13mm bolts holding the mounting bracket to the side of the engine.
Figure 4
Now remove the four 13mm bolts holding the mounting bracket to the side of the engine.   
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With the mounting bracket removed from the engine, you will have enough clearance to remove the old lower engine mount from the bottom of the car.
Figure 5
With the mounting bracket removed from the engine, you will have enough clearance to remove the old lower engine mount from the bottom of the car.
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Slide the new engine mount into place and thread the 16mm bolt up into place.
Figure 6
Slide the new engine mount into place and thread the 16mm bolt up into place.
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Refit the mounting bracket over the end of the new lower engine mount and thread the four 13mm bolts back into place.
Figure 7
Refit the mounting bracket over the end of the new lower engine mount and torque the four 13mm bolts back into place.
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Now thread the 16mm bolt back into the front end of the mount.
Figure 8
Now thread the 16mm bolt back into the front end of the mount. Torque both 16mm bolts.
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Remove the ground strap from the engine mount bracket on the passenger side of the car.
Figure 9
Remove the ground strap from the engine mount bracket on the passenger side of the car. Be sure not to lose the bolt which fits up underneath the bracket as it can fall out once you remove the ground nut.
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To replace the upper engine mounts, begin by removing the fuel tank vent valve directly above the belt tensioner and supercharger pulley.
Figure 10
To replace the upper engine mounts, begin by removing the fuel tank vent valve directly above the belt tensioner and supercharger pulley. In this picture, you can see the upper vent valve connection (purple arrow) the electrical harness connector (green arrow) and the lower vent valve connection (yellow arrow) 
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Remove the lower vent valve connection by squeezing the two tabs on the out side of the connector and pulling it off.
Figure 11
Remove the lower vent valve connection by squeezing the two tabs on the out side of the connector and pulling it off. Take care not to use too much force on the plastic line.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Next, remove the upper vent valve connection by pressing the tabs on the connector and pulling it up.
Figure 12
Next, remove the upper vent valve connection by pressing the tabs on the connector and pulling it up. Again, take care not to damage the plastic line.  
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Use a small screwdriver to pull back on the plastic tab securing the electrical harness plug to the valve and pull it down and off the valve.
Figure 13
Use a small screwdriver to pull back on the plastic tab securing the electrical harness plug to the valve and pull it down and off the valve.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Press the small tab on the mounting bracket (green arrow) and slide the vent valve off.
Figure 14
Press the small tab on the mounting bracket (green arrow) and slide the vent valve off. Set it aside for the time being.
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Place the floor jack under the center of the engine with a block of wood to distribute the weight of the engine and also to protect the oil pan.
Figure 15
Place the floor jack under the center of the engine with a block of wood to distribute the weight of the engine and also to protect the oil pan.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Remove the small 8mm bolt securing the bracket holding the two hoses to the engine mount brace.
Figure 16
Remove the small 8mm bolt securing the bracket holding the two hoses to the engine mount brace. Pop the hoses out of the bracket and set the bracket aside.
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Next, remove the 16mm bolts securing the engine mount brace at the at both the front and rear.
Figure 17
Next, remove the 16mm bolts securing the engine mount brace at the at both the front and rear. Keep in mind that the engine may move back a little. Make sure that the jack with the block of wood is fully supporting the weight of the engine. Now remove the brace and set it aside.
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Now remove the 16mm nut holding the engine mount bracket to the engine mount (green arrow) Once removed, carefully jack the engine up and off the engine mount.
Figure 18
Now remove the 16mm nut holding the engine mount bracket to the engine mount (green arrow) Once removed, carefully jack the engine up and off the engine mount.  
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
On 2004 and later MINIs, the passenger side engine mount was redesigned.
Figure 19
On 2004 and later MINIs, the passenger side engine mount was redesigned. If you own one of these cars, you simply remove the 16mm nut on the top of the bracket (green arrow), and the bolt securing the mount to the frame (purple arrow). Also, don't forget to remove the ground strap (yellow arrow).
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Remove the E12 Torx bolt underneath the passenger side engine mount.
Figure 20
Remove the E12 Torx bolt underneath the passenger side engine mount. This long bolt secures the mount to the frame rail. Once removed, take the engine mount off the frame rail. Place the new engine mount in the same hole from above the frame rail and thread the Torx bolt back in and torque it to 68Nm (50ft/lbs.)
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Now on cars up to 12/03 remove the three bolts holding the upper engine mount to the wheelhouse.
Figure 21
Now on cars up to 12/03 remove the three bolts holding the upper engine mount to the wheelhouse. As you can see here, you can reach the rear most bolt with a long extension (green arrow). Take the new rear mount, thread the bolts in and torque them to 68Nm (50ft/lbs.)
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
To replace the transmission mount, you'll need to first remove the airbox assembly and air hoses.
Figure 22
To replace the transmission mount, you'll need to first remove the airbox assembly and air hoses. Refer to our article on installing a performance intake for more info.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
You'll also need to move the fusebox in order to access one of the transmission mount bolts.
Figure 23
You'll also need to move the fusebox in order to access one of the transmission mount bolts. Make sure the battery is disconnected, then remove the harness that plugs into the front of the fuse box as shown here. Use a screwdriver to press the tab in, then pull the harness out.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Now remove the two 8mm screws holding the fusebox to the chassis (green arrows).
Figure 24
Now remove the two 8mm screws holding the fusebox to the chassis (green arrows). Also remove the 10mm bolt holding the 12v lead wire for the aux driving lights if you have installed them on your car (purple arrow). Now move the fusebox to the side to access the bolts underneath.
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With the floor jack under the engine and secure, remove the long 16mm bolt securing the mount to the bracket.
Figure 25
With the floor jack under the engine and secure, remove the long 16mm bolt securing the mount to the bracket. (green arrow). 
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Now remove the three 16mm bolts holding the upper mount arm to the chassis (green arrows).
Figure 26
Now remove the three 16mm bolts holding the upper mount arm to the chassis (green arrows). You need to remove this arm in order to access the mount underneath.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
To gain access to one of the transmission mount bolts, it helps to remove the throttle body from the engine.
Figure 27
To gain access to one of the transmission mount bolts, it helps to remove the throttle body from the engine. This picture shows the four 10mm bolts that hold the throttle body to the plastic air plenum below (green arrows). Remove the bolts and also the electrical connector (yellow arrow) by pushing the tab on the top and pulling it off. Carefully maneuver the throttle body so that you can gain access to the vacuum line below.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Shown here is the vacuum line connection going to the throttle body.
Figure 28
Shown here is the vacuum line connection going to the throttle body. Squeeze the hose clamp holding the line on and slide it back. Then simply pull the vacuum line off and set the throttle body aside in a safe place.
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With the upper mount arm removed and the throttle body removed, you now have access to the actual transmission mount.
Figure 29
With the upper mount arm removed and the throttle body removed, you now have access to the actual transmission mount. Remove the four 16mm bolts holding the mount on (green arrows).
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Now place the new mount on the transmission and thread in the bolts holding in place.
Figure 30
Now place the new mount on the transmission and thread in the bolts holding in place. Keep in mind that the front left bolt secures a bracket to the front of the mount (green arrow).
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
There is also a bracket for the clutch slave cylinder feed hose that is secured by one of the transmission mount bolts (green arrow).
Figure 31
There is also a bracket for the clutch slave cylinder feed hose that is secured by one of the transmission mount bolts (green arrow).
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Once all the bolts have been fitted, torque them to 66Nm (49ft/lbs.
Figure 32
Torque and refit all bolts.
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Take note of the orientation of the rubber spacers that fit onto the sides of the new transmission mount.
Figure 33
Take note of the orientation of the rubber spacers that fit onto the sides of the new transmission mount. Transfer the spacers onto the new mount as shown.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Now refit the upper mount arm over the rubber spacers and transmission mount.
Figure 34
Now refit the upper mount arm over the rubber spacers and transmission mount. Refit the 16mm bolt loosely though the center of the mount and place the mount arm back into position on the chassis. Refit the bolts and torque all four bolts to 68Nm(50ft/lbs.). Now lower the jack under the car. Now, just reinstall the fusebox, throttle body, airbox and you're all set.
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(R50 Cooper): As shown here, the slave cylinder must be removed in order to access one of the mounting bolts for the transmission mount on the R50 Cooper (green arrow).
Figure 35
(R50 Cooper): As shown here, the slave cylinder must be removed in order to access one of the mounting bolts for the transmission mount on the R50 Cooper (green arrow). Please see our articles on clutch master and slave cylinder replacement for more info.
Large Image | Extra-Large Image
Need to buy parts for this project? Click here to order!
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Comments and Suggestions:
bcc101 Comments: Fast service on the parts. Where do I find the torque specs for the 16 and 18 bolts to secure the bracket?
August 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff:
I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Gee Comments: Is it necessary to replace all of these mounts? I know my front engine mount is gone as i can see the leaked fluid, i think this is also the reason why it is hard to move off smoothely.
May 31, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can only replace what has failed. keep in mind, if one is bad, the others won't be far behind. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
stevep Comments: Great instructions! I fitted the engine and transmission mounts today on my 07 MCS R53. All working great now. The only thing that I'd add to the instructions is to remember to keep the boot open! I closed it after disconnecting the battery and got right through the install feeling pretty chuffed that I'd done a solid job...only to then find I couldn't reconnect the battery! Luckily, you can squeeze a hand between the back seat if you have left a door open, which I did. I suspect that I could have connected a battery to the connection in the front but it was late, I was tired, and there was no way I was going looking for a battery! Thanks again Team Pelican. Awesome site and service.
May 3, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Qi Comments: Does Pelican carry the e12 torx bolt? if so, can you put a link here, so that i can order it with the mount? thanks.
May 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jaime Hdez Comments: What is the correct torque of the engine block cylinder head bolt for r53 Mini Cooper S 2005? Help please!!
May 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will have to replace the cylinder head bolts before tightening the head.

Stage 1: 40 Nm
Stage 2: rotate head bolt additional 90° - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mitch Comments: I just completed this repair on my kid's 2006 R50 and noted a serious error in the directions above. The E12 Torx bolt Fig 20 used to hold the bottom of the hydraulic motor mount to the frame is a one-time use, Torque-to-Yield bolt. BMW TIS specifies that a new bolt should be torqued to 56Nm approx 41.5 ft/lb and then tightened an additional 90 degrees plus or minus 15 degrees. 68Nm is the BMW specified torque for the 18mm hex nut wrench size, not thread size that secures the engine mount bracket to the stud on the top of the hydraulic motor mount

I installed a new E12 bolt in my new hydro mount thanks Pelican for the great price! and was surprised by how hard I had to crank that little bolt to get to 41 ft/lbs. I was crossing my fingers pulling the torque wrench thru the next 90 degrees I guesstimate 55 ft/lbs per BMW spec. My view, YMMV, is that torquing a new or used E12 bolt to a mystery spec of 68Nm 50 ft/lbs is wrong. A new bolt won't be properly stretched and a previously used bolt might be overstretched early failure or so not stretched enough to prevent loosening.

FWIW, my kid's R50 had less than 45,000 miles but had gone through 7 Chicago winters. The head on the E12 bolt was so rusty I had to put a 6" 1/2" drive extension on the E12 socket and pound the socket on with a hammer. My 15 year old Craftsman 1/2" air impact wrench actually died trying to loosen the original BMW E12 bolt from the motor mount. A new 1/2" Earthquake impact still took a good minute of hammering 90 psi to break the bolt loose and turn it out.

Even if I wasn't a believer in bolt-stretch as the most accurate way of ensuring bolts stay tight on both conventional and torque-to-yield bolts, I wouldn't advocate re-using a long, scrawny bolt with marginal head contact surfaces in any application that sees winter or road salt. Buy a motor mount and buy the new bolt.


April 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for catching that and your feedback. You are correct. Any torque to yield bolt is single use and should be discarded each time it is removed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Liam Comments: Many socket sets skip 16mm among others even though they have 15 and 17. As a newb, I had a metric socket set, and assumed 16mm was there, but it wasn't. Unless you already have an established arsenal of tools, you might want to double-check that you have a 16mm socket.
March 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Great advice. I always suggest that the instructions are read before beginning. This way you are aware of any standard or special tool you may need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cram Comments: Very helpful instructions, thanks!
you can post this online if you want
July 7, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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  Applies to: R50 MINI Cooper (2002-06) - R53 MINI Cooper S (2002-06) - R52 MINI Cooper Convertible (2005-08) - R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08) - R52 MINI Cooper S Convertible (2005-08) - R56 MINI Cooper (2007-) - R57 MINI Cooper Convertible (2007-)
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